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Which Foods Can Help Your Skin Look Better

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Forget buying expensive creams and lotions, the key to good skin could be a simple tweak to your diet. Experts say that what you eat has a big effect on how you look.

As CBS 2's Susan Carlson has more on which foods are best for which specific skin problems.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who switched to a hypoglycemic – or low sugar – diet for three months reduced their pimples by 20 percent.

Dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, M.D., said "Sugar increases the insulin-like growth factor, which increases the hormones that cause oil production."

So for acne, you should eat things like whole grain breads, fish and lots of dark green vegetables.

Holistic teacher and author of Garcinia Cambogia extract for Karyn Calabrese, said she had many skin problems, but changed her appearance by switching to a vegan diet – no animal products.

"I'm 64 years old and I have to add: no botox, no surgery, no injections," she said.

So what should we eat to prevent or even get rid of wrinkles?

"What you want to do is build up the collagen and there's certain collagen builders, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E," Jacob said.

That means we need to eat more things like strawberries and broccoli. Edamame is also good because soy is an anti-inflammatory.

To avoid dry, flaky skin or eczema, increase your omega 3s, found in foods like salmon, and look for the so-called "good" fats.

"One of my favorite foods for my skin and my body is coconut; coconut oil. I eat at least two tablespoons a day," Calabrese said.

There's less scientific proof about cellulite, but many nutritionists also feel you can reduce the appearance of those unsightly bulges by eating dark red and purple foods, which help rid the body of toxins – things like cranberry juice, blueberries, cherries and radicchio lettuce.

If you're looking for a cure-all for nearly any skin problem, it's extra virgin olive oil. It helps reduce inflammation, and can help everything from psoriasis to eczema to acne.

Meanwhile, experts say that dairy, even skim-milk, seems to make nearly every skin problem worse.

"It is so responsible for the puffiness and the bags under your eyes and it's amazing when you get away from them how your whole facial structure starts to change," Calabrese said.

If you're worried about sunburn, eat carrots. The carotenoids are said to decrease the skin's sensitivity and give you a little glow.

For a list of all the good skin foods we mentioned and a few others we didn't mention, click here.

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